Alhassan Yusuf and Antwerp may have clinched the league title on a dramatic final day of the season, but for the first time the Belgian champions will not go directly into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
They will have to qualify from the third and final playoffs to make it into the money-spinning group stage of the Champions League.
Antwerp, champions of Belgium for the first time in 66 years, will also have to worry about if they will be allowed to play their home games at their stadium.
“This year, UEFA gave them permission to play in the Conference League at the Bosuil (their home ground), provided that grandstand 2 was closed, it remains to be seen whether that is also allowed in the Champions League,” sports financial expert Thomas Peeters said.
“Otherwise they may have to use another stadium. Then they can sell more tickets for the supporters, but they have to pay rent. That’s why I see Antwerp – if they can – play at the Bosuil.”